Gorkhaland stir: On 31st day of shutdown, Darjeeling tense but violence-free
Darjeeling: Pro-Gorkhaland activists took out rallies in Darjeeling as security forces maintained tight vigil across the hills on Saturday—the 31st day of the indefinite shutdown for a separate state.
No incident of violence or arson was reported by the police on Saturday morning, but the hills remained on the edge, a day after agitators went on a rampage, setting afire a Railway Protection Force (RPF) office, a state-run library and a police outpost in Darjeeling.
With the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), the spearhead of the statehood agitation, planning rallies on Saturday in various places, the police and security forces patrolled the streets of the hills and kept a tight vigil at all entry and exit routes.
Except medical shops, business establishments, restaurants, hotels, schools and colleges remained closed. Meanwhile, the district administration has extended the ban on internet services till 25 July. The ban was imposed on 18 June. With food supply severely hit due to the indefinite strike, the GJM and various NGOs of the hills distributed food items among people.
The hills witnessed violence despite continued deployment of three columns of the army in Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Sonada. The picturesque hill station had earlier witnessed a 40-day bandh in 1988 and a 44-day shutdown in 2013.